what is keywords density keyphrase density in seo

What is Keyword Density or Keyphrase Density in SEO (Explained)


There’s always a lot going on with SEO and knowing something is never enough. That’s why you should always keep an eye out for updates and keep the basics to your heart. And today, we’ll talk about one such basic: what is keyword density. Here is a short video, just in case you are a TLDR kind of a person 😉

So, without further delay, let’s get started.

What is a Keyword?

A keyword, or a keyphrase (as some people call it) is a term that best defines the content of your page or post. It’s the term that people type in the search box while looking for something on the web. And if you’ve well optimized your page or post. Then it should rank on a certain search keyword.

Before, you decide on what should be your focus keyword to rank. Ask yourself this:

  • What kind of search term do you want to be discovered for?
  • What would the search query look like?
  • Which words do you think people will use in search engines to find you?

What is Keyword Density?

Keyword density is also known as Keyphrase density and mostly they are the same thing. And if you are someone who’s working in the industry, both the terms are used interchangeably.

By definition,

Keyword Density means the number of times your focus keyphrase occurs in your copy, compared to the total text of that page.

So let’s say if you have text that is 100 words and 5 of those are your focus keyphrase. Then, your keyword or keyphrase density is 5%.

Why is Keyphrase Density Important for SEO?

Many digital marketers think that keyword density or keyphrase density is not an important metric. But let me tell you that it is important for SEO because Google tries to match a user’s search query to the best fitting web pages available on the internet.

And to effectively do this, Google first needs to understand what your web page is about. That’s why you should use your keyphrase, i.e., the phrase you’d like to rank for, in your copy. Though this often comes naturally, many copyrighters try to force it on readers.

For instance, If you’d like to rank for, puppy adoption, you probably use this phrase regularly throughout your content. Not only this accounts for a black hat SEO practice, but can also get you penalized by Google as well.

NOTE: If you repeat your keyword frequently in your copy, it becomes unpleasant to read for your visitors. It’s something you should avoid at all times. After all, you need your visitors to enjoy and understand your copy well.

Where Can You Check Keyword Density?

Well, there are plenty of free tools online like Yoast SEO which checks keyword density for your text in almost real-time. But if you are looking for some paid alternatives, try using SEMrush. Their SEO suite is tailored to support all your business requirements and offers a lot more features to help your business grow.

What’s the Right Keyword Density for SEO?

Marketers generally recommend that one should have keyword density between 0.5 to 3%, and should note that for a match to be counted, all words should occur in one sentence, but the order of the words may differ.

For example, the keyword “best coworking spaces” is different from “best coworking places”, though they occur as LSI keywords, which add as a ranking factor & boost the visibility of your content for a variety of search terms.

A keyword density between 0.5 to 3% should be an ideal target for SEO goals

How Many Keywords Should I Use in My Content?

While there are no hard and fast rules to answer many matters of SEO, based on my experience, I’ll recommend using one keyword per roughly 200 words of copy. To state simply,

If a page consists of a single, 200-word paragraph, it should consist of no more than one keyword.

Also, you may be able to “safely” include more keywords than this (i.e. without being penalized by Google), but roughly one keyword per 200 words of copy is considered a good benchmark by the SEO community across the globe.

How to Improve your Keyword Density

So, If your keyphrase density score is too low, you should use the keyphrase more often in your text copy. You can use various tools to check your copy and make sure you make clear what you’re writing about. Do note to stay on topic and don’t deviate.

And if the keyphrase density is too high, which means it’s higher than 3%, you’re using your keyphrase too often. Try repeating your keyword less often as your text possibly will look a bit spammy to search engines and might get you penalized as well.

For example, here, the ones I have marked as red are over-optimized as they have a keyword density of more than 3% and the ones having a keyword density of less than 1% are considered as under-optimized and are marked as yellow.
The ones marked as green are decently optimized and our content should rank well on these.

what is keyword density in seo

PRO TIP: Trying using synonyms, as they are a great way to avoid repetitiveness. When planning SEO, synonyms do not count towards your keyphrase density score, this might help you lower the concentration of focus keyword in order to keep it under control.


Lastly, do make sure to use your focus keyphrase enough throughout the whole text. But at the same time, don’t overdo it. As you don’t want Google to think you’re stuffing your text with keywords, resulting in your penalization.

You may also like,

What is Crawlability and Indexability in SEO

7 Best Keyword Research Tools For SEO [2020]

3 Important XML Sitemap Checks to Use in Your Next SEO Audit

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